Disassemble/repair VEX IQ smartmotors?

New to all of this - trying to learn it all as fast as I can. I’m using VEX IQ to introduce 5th and 6th graders to robotics before they start trying to compete with the EDR stuff in 7th and 8th grades. I’ve got a few VEX IQ motors that have quit - I’m pretty handy, I thought I’d take a look, see if I could figure out how to fix them, but I can’t figure out/find any info on how to get them open - only a YouTube video of some British kid who cuts the case open with a saw to get at the insides - clearly not a “repair and re-use” situation.

Can anyone tell me how (or is it even possible) to open up these motors in such a way that they can be closed back up again and put back into service?


If I remember correctly, there is no way to open the motor without damaging the casing.

Just to note, motors that are modified are not competition legal.

Not even concerned about competing with them - I just want them to work again, if possible, for them to have to use for building and practice. I’m an obsessive “fix-it” person, and it irritates my soul when I find myself possibly having to just toss out something that SHOULD be an easy repair.

I’m under the impression that they are ether glued together or sonic welded together, but in either case they dont come apart.

I’d suggest a personal note to @Art_Dutra_IV, he’s one of VEX/IFI engineers, he may be able to give you some guidance.

I have found that putting them on port 1 and doing the force flash will sometimes get the firmaware downloaded and bring them back to life.

Good luck with your project.

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The outer cap is ultrasonic welded on, mostly as a temper-proof measure. The screws that hold the remainder of the housing together are underneath the ultrasonic-welded mounting cap, making it impossible to disassemble the motor without externally-visible evidence that the motor was opened up.

When we did the original mechanical design of the VEX IQ Smart Motor, we had been dealing with the initial round of PTC tampering / illegal motor modification in VRC on the VEX EDR 269 and 393 Motors. Thus, we placed a much higher emphasis on the mechanical design requirement to make it intentionally difficult to modify VEX IQ Smart Motors, so we didn’t have similar problems in VIQC as we had in VRC. This was a bit of an over-reaction.

On newer motors, like the V5 Smart Motor and the latest motors used in the HEXBUG VEX Robotics retail / VEX GO educational kits, we’ve retreated from the ultrasonic-welded tamper-proof approach and left all housing screws externally accessible. We instead rely on other measures to verify integrity for official competition use-cases.


I was able to use an Xacto knife to carefully work around the edges of the seam and got the outer cover to come free with little to no mess. Just work the corners and gently pry it up. The Brit kid uses a saw in his video and it’s a mess.

Once open, I undid the screws and put a multimeter on the motor…got good return, so I put a 9-volt battery to it and it spun up just fine.

So the problem with the motor is software, not hardware.
I’m gonna try the force flash fix, but not hopeful. Luckily, these motors are relatively inexpensive.


I don’t know if this helps, but they had fun making it.


For any dead IQ parts, the port one CPR sequence is the #1 thing to try. I’ve brought dozens of motors back from the grave.


The zombie motor fix in the video worked…sorta. The motor now displays as a bump sensor, not a motor. No matter how many times I do the fix, it will only show as a bumper.
The fun continues…

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